(Topic ID: 251575)

LED Tape lights at top of wall or edge of ceiling?


By sataneatscheese

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by sataneatscheese
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Where do I put the tape lights?”

    • On the wall next to the ceiling. 8 votes
      100%
    • On the ceiling next to the wall. 0 votes

    (8 votes)

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 19 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

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    #1 5 months ago

    Do I put LED tape lights on the ceiling or walls for better illumination?

    I just ordered some "LED Tape light" to better illuminate my pinball area. The overhead lights I have cause too much glare, and I'm going to try attaching this stuff to either the wall or ceiling behind my pins in the top corner and attach it to the switch that controls my pins. The intent is to turn off all other lights except these when playing.

    amazon.com link »

    #2 5 months ago

    Have you tried putting your lights on a dimmer?

    But I voted for on the wall. Basically I would hang them in the "corner" where it meets the wall and ceiling to keep it looking clean.

    #3 5 months ago

    I think it will provide decent indirect light but you might want something to diffuse the light or create a channel around your wall and project the light up onto the ceiling. Kind of like a cove light, it just depends what kind of look you are going for. Will they work, yes.

    #4 5 months ago
    Quoted from Tlamb:

    I think it will provide decent indirect light but you might want something to diffuse the light or create a channel around your wall and project the light up onto the ceiling. Kind of like a cove light, it just depends what kind of look you are going for. Will they work, yes.

    I have them on my wall and they aren't too bright or distracting. My buddy did put them in his basement too on top of some trim and they look nice too.
    20190913_143543 (resized).jpg

    #5 5 months ago

    I put mine all the way around the room on top of the base boards (floor trim) and it looks cool

    #6 5 months ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    I put mine all the way around the room on top of the base boards (floor trim) and it looks cool

    Exactly what I did. To get rid of the glare, you cannot have direct light. uplight is key.

    #7 5 months ago

    Baseboard works great if you either don’t mind seeing the LEDs or provide shielding (can get pricey). Baseboard install gives a nice, indirect, color wash to the walls

    Top of wall works great because it removes the LED light from direct view and also allows the entire “band” to be visible if you so desire.

    I chose top of wall. I’m about 5” down from ceiling. LEDs sit in a 3” MDF molding I routed using a 1/2” rabbet bit. Dirt cheap mounting method as I just ripped 4x8’ sheets of MDF down to 3” and made nearly 200’ of molding for under $100.
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    And... lights off shots

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    #8 5 months ago

    Mt45, that looks great! Can you show us a close up pic of lights mounted in your cut?

    #9 5 months ago
    Quoted from MT45:

    Baseboard works great if you either don’t mind seeing the LEDs or provide shielding (can get pricey). Baseboard install gives a nice, indirect, color wash to the walls
    Top of wall works great because it removes the LED light from direct view and also allows the entire “band” to be visible if you so desire.
    I chose top of wall. I’m about 5” down from ceiling. LEDs sit in a 3” MDF molding I routed using a 1/2” rabbet bit. Dirt cheap mounting method as I just ripped 4x8’ sheets of MDF down to 3” and made nearly 200’ of molding for under $100.
    [quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]
    And... lights off shots[quoted image][quoted image]

    Thats awesome, now I gotta start milling some trim....

    #10 5 months ago

    I mounted mine to the bottom track of my drop ceiling then diffused them with marquees. The led’s are on a dimmer, what you see there is 25%. I also use 24v leds because then you can run a much longer strip without worrying about voltage drop.
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    #11 5 months ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    Do I put LED tape lights on the ceiling or walls for better illumination?
    I just ordered some "LED Tape light" to better illuminate my pinball area. The overhead lights I have cause too much glare, and I'm going to try attaching this stuff to either the wall or ceiling behind my pins in the top corner and attach it to the switch that controls my pins. The intent is to turn off all other lights except these when playing.
    amazon.com link »

    Like others have said, the key to using LED strip lights is diffusion - you have to diffuse that light or else it is a bit overwhelming if you can't dim it. I achieved a nice look in my room by attaching a small furring strip to the wall about 4" down from the ceiling, placed the LED strip (cheap Utilitech strip from Lowes) on top of it, and then attached a 1x3 trim board about a quarter inch away from the face of the furring strip to allow the light to diffuse upwards and downwards. Initially, I attached the 1x3 directly to the furring strip but it forced all of the light upwards which made a distinct blue line on the ceiling. I wanted a softer effect so pulling the 1x3 away from the wall created a much softer effect because the light goes upwards and downwards. To get the 1x3 away from the furring strip I used 1/2" long metal tubes (they look like straws) and ran the screw through the face of the 1x3 and through the tubes into the wall. This keeps the 1x3 away from the wall. Sounds complicated but it's very simple.

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    #12 5 months ago
    Quoted from Hayfarmer:

    Mt45, that looks great! Can you show us a close up pic of lights mounted in your cut?

    No problem. Here's are few more images.
    Rough cut and routed moldings (before paint)
    These MDF pieces were simply nailed to the wall using my Paslode airless finish nailer
    I've include an image of he Excel engineering drawing I made before routing them
    Also a picture of
    I was a little worried about the LED tape sticking to the (very dry/dusty) surface of a routed piece of MDF but they worked great and have stayed down
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    #13 5 months ago

    Ok, forgive the ignorance, but can’t you just do this:

    amazon.com link »

    mounted on this:

    amazon.com link » ?

    Not as fancy as MT45’s obviously, but my ceiling is a bit too low to do that style.

    #14 5 months ago
    Quoted from SeaLawyer:

    Ok, forgive the ignorance, but can’t you just do this:
    amazon.com link »
    mounted on this:
    amazon.com link » ?
    Not as fancy as MT45’s obviously, but my ceiling is a bit too low to do that style.

    Those solutions can work for most folks. Works best for shorter installs. The aluminum channels are a nice clean look too.

    I could not use the LED solution because my total run length is nearly 200 feet. When you run LEDs at that distance you encounter voltage drop and must accommodate for it. I ended up running 24 volt LEDs instead of 12 and buying huge (600 watt) power supplies (2 of them). I could have used the aluminum channels but found I could make mine at about a third of that price.

    Still, what you shared are great solutions for most game rooms!

    #15 5 months ago

    I ended up applying the LED lights directly to the wall and it looks fantastic and makes playing pinball so much better. It makes it possible to play at night without having spotlights glaring straight down at the glass and makes the pinball experience much better. 10/10 would do again. I ended up using three 25 foot strips and applying the LED tape directly to the wall. I have remotes so I can change the color of the LEDs which is kind of cool, but I'll never use. If I could do it all again I'd use all white LEDs with a dimmer as I believe they can get much brighter than this. I bought some electrical wall channeling to hide the chords in and I think it looks nice. I hooked it up to the same Smart Plug as pinball so now I can walk in the room and say, "Computer, turn on the arcade" and the lights and pinball machines will all come on. Thanks for the tips! I may upgrade to crown molding mounted lights for a cleaner look later, but this works great for now. This ran ~$220 for 3 sets of 25 foot LEDs, electrical channel hider, and 2 new smart plugs at Home Depot. This stuff goes down in price every year and I'm sure you could do it nicer for less but this was darn near plug and play. Thanks again!

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